Disparity of force

One of the tougher self-defense concepts for people outside of our community to understand is “disparity of force.” The legal idea of disparity of force is what makes it legally justified for a 95 lb woman to shoot a 200 lb man who is “only” attacking her with his bare hands.

Disparity of force was actually quite a big deal in the Zimmerman case, as the defense’s successful claim of self-defense relied on the fact that due to the circumstances of the fight, Trayvon had a significant force advantage over Zimmerman despite being “unarmed.” In fact, Trayvon was not “unarmed” at all. To explain that concept, read Mas Ayoob’s column on disparity of force. It’s excellent.


  1. Thanks for the link! Great info on the case. I’m amazed that this info isn’t in the press.

    1. I’m not the slightest bit surprised. The press is composed of people who are still saying, with all the righteous indignation they can muster, that “This never would have happened if he hadn’t disobeyed the police officer by getting out of his car after he was told not to.” Three factual errors in the space of 24 words. And they repeat it over, and over, and OVER. So no, I’m not the slightest bit surprised you won’t read about this in the mainstream media.

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